Tuesday, August 28, 2018

An End to the Sliming

Today was the Florida primary election, meaning the last week has been almost back-to-back telephone calls.  We've actually had opponents of each other call back-to-back, and the snail mail for most of the last week has brought six to 10 large photo postcards every day.  The primary being over will bring with it a blessed end to the non-stop, neck-deep slime we've been assaulted by for months.  For a few weeks. 

This election season has been negative, vitriolic, and slimy.  There might have been worse, but this one has been among the worst I can recall.  It started early, too.  Today's primary (or for the last 10 days for those who do early voting) is for our local state representatives, senator, judges, and then for US senator.

It's hard to peg the most vicious race.  The big name race has been the competition for our liberal senator's opposition, and features soon to be ex-governor Rick Scott against a joke candidate.  Seriously, remember Pat Paulsen?  He has nothing on Scott's opponent "Rocky" De La Fuente.  Our state representative is a "career politician" type who has bounced between jobs up in Tele-hassle, taking one term limit and moving to the next two term job on his name recognition.  He's one of the Stupid Party insiders who sold us out after Parkland and needs to go.  His opponent has run before as a Libertarian, but moved to the mainstream party this time.

The most surprisingly bitter and slimy race was for our county commissioner.  The incumbent was challenged by a former commissioner who used to live in a different district and has now moved to the one I live in.  She was well known for fiscal restraint, sanity and discipline, and I would think she has a good enough reputation to just get her name out, but aside from a brief but pleasant chat when she knocked on the door, I've heard virtually nothing pleasant or positive out of her campaign.  I wouldn't doubt that we got a stack of the glossy mailers over a foot tall between her and her opponent. 

Long ago, like 35 years or so, I decided that a good rule of thumb was to not vote for the first candidate to sling mud.  Like all "zero tolerance policies" or rules of thumb, it's not right all the time, and should be used with some commonsense, but it's a pretty good indicator.  In this case, with both of them being negative 99% of the time, it basically came down to picking the least disgusting candidate - truly trying to pick up a turd by the clean end - holding our noses and vote.

I know no political consultants will ever read a blog like this, much less listen to what I say, but how about you tell me why I should vote for you not why I should vote against your opponent?

The candidates all act like there's a template they're filling out.  They all act like if they just say the same handful of buzzwords, or buzz phrases, they win.  This year's buzz phrases include:
  • I'm pro-Second amendment (having the NRA ratings to back it up adds cred)
  • I'm pro-life
  • My opponent is a career politician
  • I'll save the Indian River 
With a surprising amount of
  • My opponent is anti-Trump
The coveted endorsements seemed to come from our departing Attorney General turning into TV personality, Pam Bondi, and the "Republican Sheriffs".  Whoever the campaign consultants are this year, they've apparently convinced everyone this is the winning formula because they all say the same things.  Not that there's anything wrong with any of these, but if you're trying to distinguish yourself from other candidates, it's not working. 

I'm looking forward to the slime going away for a while.  Of course, we transition to the mud slinging for the November general election, and it'll resume a few weeks.  I'm going to move the recycling bin right next to the mailbox so that campaign literature can just be directly dumped from the mailbox into the recycling can.

(The famous Indonesian mud volcano has nothing on the mud these candidates are slinging).

Sigh... a check of the county election results shows the candidates I most wanted to go away won their races..


  1. The BIG one out here is for Governor. Walker Stapleton(R) is running against Jared Polis(D). Polis insulted HALF the state by refusing to go debate over in the Western Slope. He's a rich kid who's bought his way up the ladder so far, and Stapleton is going to mop the floor with him.

    1. The governor's race just got nailed down tonight. It's going to be a US congressman (Ron DeSantis) endorsed by Trump vs. a mayor (Gillum) endorsed by Bernie Sanders.

    2. I've heard that the Democrat rising star, Ocassio-Cortez, has endorsed Gillum as well. The word from distant places in the us (from FL) was that your races were particularly contentious as well, but we're not on the ground. Thanks for the report.

  2. In a season of sailboat racing, the good strategy is to stay with the mainstream pack of opponents. People who bet they have predicted the wind better than everyone else and position themselves elsewhere sometimes win big, but often are wrong and lose.

    Political consultants aren't betting on individual candidates, they are betting on a constant stream of candidates who do well, but not necessarily always win, to make a career out of advising. It doesn't matter who gets elected, political consultants are part of the permanent bureaucracy and win regardless.

    Meanwhile, the voters always still obey whoever got elected. There is no feedback signal present to drive the governance system in any direction other than where it's currently going. If you want the control system to alter course, you have to generate an error signal. Get millions to take the license plate off their cars.

  3. Heh. Didn't get ANY fliers, nor phone calls. It's amazing how well removing your name from the voter rolls - as well as saying what one REALLY thinks about the current government and their "Law Enforcement" and "Legal" system enablers - works to take care of that problem.

  4. Today marks the day when the slime slinging goes from intra-party to inter-party.

  5. Taxpayer unhappiness is not a control theory error signal; Germans handcuffed into boxcars were plenty unhappy, but they still obeyed just fine. Taxpayer disobedience is an error signal.

  6. At least you've got a (lousy) choice between marginal candidates for various offices, and their associated political parties. Here in Califubar, we've got a single party state. Not much political mail arrives, since we're all taken for granted by our glorious majority party leaders. And we'll soon be free of governor Brown (Colonel Klink) and saddled with Gavin Newsome, former mayor of San Francisco (aka Gruesome, Noisome, Poopneedle, etc.). It may seem funny, but your situation seems downright refreshing compared to the sea of kooks running the roost around here. Sad watching the whole state turn into one giant Detroit, except for a tiny crust of corrupt elites on the coast. But what a place it once was! Thank you kindly for your articles, past and present.

    1. I've never found it very comforting to say "we've got it bad, but those poor Califruitopians have it so much worse!" I get what you're saying about being taken for granted, and being ignored by politicians isn't always a bad thing, but if you can't get the bare minimum things done right it still sounds like a bad situation.

      Thanks for you comment on the blog content - in general.

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